Local & Regional

Medical Marijuana Approved in Oklahoma

Jun 27, 2018
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Oklahoma voters handily approved state question 788, which legalizes medical marijuana for licensed patients, as well as marijuana businesses and research. 

At a watch party by supporters of the measure, Alex Shirley, a medical malpractice attorney in Oklahoma City thought conservative voters would defeat 788. 

There are no qualifying medical conditions in the state question, medical marijuana license holders will be allowed to have up to three ounces of marijuana, as well as eight ounces at their home. 

Oklahoma Watch

 

It was a mixed bag for teachers running for political office in Oklahoma but a bad night for incumbent Republicans who voted against a tax package earlier this year to fund a teacher pay raise.

Several GOP incumbents who voted against the tax hikes were either ousted from office or forced into a runoff against a fellow GOP opponent, a signal some teacher candidates say bodes well for them in November.

David Blatt

This morning’s election got off to a rough start at four Tulsa County polls places.

When precinct workers could not get inside the Will Rogers Methodist Church this morning, voters started casting ballots in the parking lot, in the vack of an SUV, until the building was unlocked.

Workers at three other locations, Jackson, Kerr and Keystone elementary schools were also unable to get inside this morning ahead of the 7 a.m. start. 

Supreme Court

 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump's ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting a challenge that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.

The 5-4 decision Tuesday is the court's first substantive ruling on a Trump administration policy.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, joined by his four conservative colleagues.

Roberts wrote that presidents have substantial power to regulate immigration. He also rejected the challengers' claim of anti-Muslim bias.

In the local news:

  • Voter Turnout could be heavy for today's primary.
  • PSO alters Bixby WindCatcher plans.
  • A Tulsa Officer is hurt in a roll-over crash.

KWGS News File

 

Attempts to recover the body of a truck driver and the tractor-trailer he was driving from a lake on the Oklahoma-Texas border continues four days after a fiery collision that killed another driver.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Eric Cannaday said Monday that divers attached flotation devices and a tow line to the truck, which careened through a bridge guard rail into Lake Texoma following a collision with a car Thursday.

Officials say the truck was hauling about 27,000 pounds of paint and supplies.

TPD Officer Hurt in a Roll-Over Crash

Jun 26, 2018
TPD Twitter

A Tulsa Police office is hospitalized after rolling his police SUV. 

It happened yesterday afternoon on Highway 75 near 61st Street South.

Police say the officer was running to a call with lights and sirens when another car failed to yield causing the SUV to roll down an steep embankment.

The officer is expected to recover. The other driver was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

 

Climate prediction experts believe the upcoming monsoon season in the nation's Southwest could be wetter than normal, but even an exceptionally wet season is unlikely to lift the region's annual rainfall to average levels.

Weather forecasters said Monday sparse rainfall in the U.S. Southern Plains since autumn has caused drought conditions to worsen, especially in the Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

PSO Makes WindCatcher Changes

Jun 26, 2018
No WindCatcher.com

The Public Service Company of Oklahoma and the city of Bixby come to terms over the Windcatcher project. The utility says it will now stay with in its right of-way and will use smaller towers for transmission lines.

A substation will not be built in Bixby,  but southwest of the town.

The multi-Billion dollar project would bring wind energy from western Oklahoma --- 380 miles east--- to a Jenk power station.

The announcement was made by PSO at last night's Bixby City Council meeting. 

KWGS File photo

 

Nearly 100 educators and administrators are running for seats in the Oklahoma Legislature during a primary election that also will narrow the crowded field for governor and decide the nation's first medical marijuana ballot question this year.

After massive demonstrations from teachers at the Capitol, the teachers are running for state House and Senate seats. Some even are Republicans challenging GOP incumbents who voted against tax increases that funded teacher pay hikes.

File photo

With OPEC agreeing to increase oil production, you would think that would push down oil prices here.

“Not so” says Gasbuddy.com oil analyst Patrick Dehann. He says the production increase is not enough to impact domestic oil  or gasoline prices

The price of oil has been on a steady climb since last Friday. Oil is now trading in the $69 a barrel neighborhood.

The average price of regular unleaded in Tulsa is $2.46 per gallon. 

Larger than 2014 Turnout Expected Tomorrow

Jun 25, 2018
File photo

While he is hesitant to estimate a number, State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax is expecting good turn-out for tomorrow’s state primary. He says several things are driving voters to the ballot box.

He says more candidate have filed for office and early voting numbers were up.  He also thinks State Question 788 --- the medical marijuana question--- will bring more people out. 

He says remember to bring your photo ID or a voter registration card. The polls open at seven this morning. We will be here after they close at seven p.m. with election results.

City of Drumright-Facebook

Authorities say an Oklahoma man was killed when the motorcycle he was driving struck a horse in the roadway.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 48-year-old Bryan Hopkins of Drumright died in the crash about 1:45 a.m. Monday.

An OHP report says Hopkins was eastbound on State Highway 33 west of Drumright.

The report says Hopkins was thrown about 70 feet from the point of impact and was dead at the scene.

An OHP spokeswoman did not know what happened to the horse.

The highway was closed for more than two hours following the accident

In the local news:

  • Storm damage at Okmulgee  County was caused by straight line winds.
  • Lightning ignites an oil tank battery near Prue.
  • The Cherokees vow to work with Amazon to recruit new workers for the fulfillment center.

Damage Caused by High Winds... Not a Tornado

Jun 25, 2018
KWGS News File Photo

The National Weather Service has surveyed the damage from Saturday night/Sunday morning's storm damage in Okmulgee County. The NWS said in a tweet that damage was caused by straight line winds.

NWS-Tulsa Twitter:

We surveyed extensive damage in the Okmulgee and Morris areas today and determined the damage to be the result of straight-line wind. The damage swath was up to six miles wide at times and indicated wind speeds approached 90 mph in spots.

KWGS File photo

 

Oklahoma's open governor's seat and whether to allow medical marijuana headline the ballot in the state's upcoming primary election.

Election officials hope the top-billed races will drive turnout among Oklahoma's more than 2 million registered voters. Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Two Democrats, three Libertarians and ten Republicans are running for term-limited Republican Gov. Mary Fallin's seat. Only registered Republicans can vote in the GOP primary. Independents can also vote in the state's Democratic primary.

BNSF

 

An estimated 230,000 gallons (870,619 liters) of crude oil spilled into floodwaters in the northwestern corner of Iowa following a train derailment, a railroad official said Saturday.

BNSF spokesman Andy Williams said 14 of 32 oil tanker cars just south of Doon in Lyon County leaked oil into surrounding floodwaters from the swollen Little Rock River. Williams had earlier said 33 oil cars had derailed.

OCC

 

An economist at the Oklahoma City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says oil and gas production is increasing but with fewer employees.

Chad Wilkerson writes in the Oklahoma Economist that increased production is due to improved technology, which has also led to fewer active rigs.

Our Troops Services

A veteran in Oklahoma whose life and business were disrupted when his lawn equipment was stolen no longer needs to face acres of grass using a push mower.

The Tulsa World reports Cody Nichols on Friday received $15,000 worth of new lawn-mowing equipment through the nonprofit group Soldier's Wish. The Tulsa-based organization works to meet the needs of military veterans.

Nichols, who served in the Marines, operates Our Troops Services. The small business hires veterans for landscaping, fencing and construction jobs.

KWGS News File photo

More traditionally conservative Republican voters in Oklahoma now favor medical marijuana and that could ensure the state joins the growing list of places where pot is legal in some form.

The medical marijuana question is on Tuesday's ballot. Danny Daniels, a pastor from the farming community of Lindsay, favors it after seeing how hospice patients benefited from marijuana.

The Guthrie Green was a busy place Saturday evening for a “School House Rock” event. It wasn’t your old Saturday morning cartoon civics lesson.

This was a fund raiser for education in Oklahoma.

It was sponsored by 'Pass the Torch' organization.  The goal was to draw attention to the plight of public education in Oklahoma and encourage people to get out and vote in this week’s primary.

Tulsan Held in Road Rage Shooting

Jun 24, 2018
Tulsa County Booking Photo

A Tulsa man is being held on $80,000 bond after police say he shot a teenager in a road rage event.  38-year-old Joshua Fort shot the teen in a business parking lot near 31st and South Mingo.

Police say the teen honked his car horn at Fort in an attempt to pass.  According to authorities, Fort then followed the teen to the parking lot where the two got into an argument and a gun was pulled.

The teen was shot once and is expected to survive.  Fort is being held on a shooting with the intent to kill complaint.

Man Killed in Riverside Crash

Jun 24, 2018
Tulsa Fire

A man is dead after being hit by a truck late Saturday night. The Tulsa Police Department says it happened at the intersection of 71st and Riverside Drive about 11 p.m.

Police say the man was walking across the street when his was struck. Eyewitnesses say the truck did not stop.

The man later died of his injuries.

More Storms Possible

Jun 23, 2018

There is an elevated risk of severe thunderstorms across much of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas during the late afternoon and evening hours today. Large hail to golfball size, damaging winds to 70 mph, and an isolated tornado will all be possible, especially with the initial development along and south of I-40 in southeast Oklahoma along a residual outflow boundary. The threat will transition to primarily a damaging wind threat as storms congeal into a complex and move east or southeast toward western Arkansas during the evening.

File photo

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a bridge over Lake Texoma remains closed while divers search for the driver of a tractor-trailer rig that plunged into the lake on the Oklahoma-Texas border following a deadly collision that killed another driver.

OHP Lt. Kera Philippi said the Highway 70 bridge was still closed Friday and it wasn't known when it might reopen.

The OHP says the collision occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday when the semi collided with a car on the bridge.

Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says an initiative petition that would overturn a package of tax hikes for funding teacher pay raises and public schools is invalid.

Oklahoma's highest court handed down the ruling Friday and ordered that the initiative petition not appear on an election ballot.

An anti-tax group led by former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn had launched a referendum petition seeking a vote to repeal tax hikes on cigarettes, fuel and energy production approved by the Legislature earlier this year. Money from the taxes would fund an average $6,100 teacher pay increase.

UCO

The president of the University of Central Oklahoma says he plans to retire next year.

Don Betz announced Friday he will step down as UCO's president on June 30, 2019. The 73-year-old Betz was named UCO's 20th president in June 2011.

The Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents will select Betz's successor. Betz says in a statement he is confident that the board will choose a president capable of leading the university.

OPMX

Emergency management officials say more than a dozen recreational vehicles and campers were overturned by winds as strong storms moved across southwestern Oklahoma.

Comanche County Emergency Management spokeswoman Ashleigh Hensch says 13 vehicles were overturned and several were destroyed shortly before 7 a.m. Friday at Lake Lawtonka in Lawton.

Hensch says one person was taken to a hospital with undisclosed, but non-life threatening injuries.

Hensch said the damage is believed to be due to straight-line winds that were measured at about 45 miles per hour.

File Photo

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says an initiative petition that would overturn a package of tax hikes for funding teacher pay raises and public schools is invalid.

Oklahoma's highest court handed down the ruling Friday and ordered that the initiative petition not appear on an election ballot.

An anti-tax group led by former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn had launched a referendum petition seeking a vote to repeal tax hikes on cigarettes, fuel and energy production approved by the Legislature earlier this year. Money from the taxes would fund an average $6,100 teacher pay increase.

In the local news:

  • Tulsa could benefit from a Supreme Court ruling on internet sales tax collections.
  • Early voting is underway.
  • Lay-offs at PennWell

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